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diesel's off road?

themailman1themailman1 Member Posts: 95
edited March 2014 in Ford
I was wondering if anyone off roads with their diesel, preferably the f250 sd? I do lots of driving and I am considering a reg cab 4x4 diesel auto tranny f250 sd but I do occasionally off road and use the trukc to get to fishing/hunting spots that require 4wd. I know the front and rear axles can handle it but how is the engine. I have read that more and more people are switching to diesels for off road but I would like to hear some of your opinions.


  • saddaddysaddaddy Member Posts: 566
    to believe that it would not be awesome. They got tons of torque so you could put just about any size tires (within reason) on their without regearing. Plus if you are pulling your boat or fourwheeler, you'd have plenty of power when the mud bogs you down.
  • lariat1lariat1 Member Posts: 461
    The biggest pain in the butt using a turbo diesel for off roading is when you have to slowly creep over objects, like climbing up a 18" shelf. My experience was that after the engine revved up to get more power the truck had a tendency to go to fast, other than that little quirk the truck was awsome offroad especially when there was very little traction the added weight of the diesel engine helped a bunch. I had a 24v cummins and I got trapped in a snowy ditchwhen I got out of the ditch I had snow on the running boards that piled up halfway up the door.
  • jdtopperjdtopper Member Posts: 58
    use mine for offroad stuff. I've had it on many mountain tops in Utah during deer season, and a few in California. Places where I had to chain-up on all four wheels to get back down the mountain.

    Mine is a 350 CC LWB SRW 4x4. It wouldn't try to use it for heavy duty rock-hopping like you'd find on some of the Jeep Jamboree events, or try to take it into Duzy Meadows in the High Sierras, but it was never made for's just too damn big... If I want to do that sort of thing, I drag my CJ-5 up the mountain with the truck, then do the rock-hop thing.

    The point is, your diesel pickup will go just about anywhere you want it to go. As for the 18" shelf that Lariat referred to, I just put mine in 4-Lo and crawl. Haven't had any problems yet, other than trying to find a place to turn it around... And it carries a ton of fuel, so I don't have to worry about that at all.
  • themailman1themailman1 Member Posts: 95
    Thanks for the help. I am looking at mostly mud with power lines and fire roads as off road terrain. I don't do the rock crawling thing, I was never interested in that plus we have no rocks here in Mass. I would probably end up lifting it 4-6 inches with 35 to 37 inch tires and add a locker to the back. I like the fact these trucks have heavy duty conponents with locking hubs and a lever 4x4 system. Now I just have to get around to getting one and doing it up the way I want.HOw is the ride long term, like 2-3 hour trip? I do these trips a few times a year to hunt and camp but ride quality is not the most important to me. I test drove a 350 reg cab auto diesel and it rode great and had plenty of power, doing 60 mph felt like doing 30, it was awesome.
  • whatsachevywhatsachevy Member Posts: 136
    If you lift the truck 4-6" and put fairly wide 35-37" mud tires on, you will probably be able to go about anywhere. However, if left stock, the weight of the diesels tend to bog down the front of the trucks in heavy mud, especially in rutted areas. I have a couple of buddies who are farmers. One had a '96 F-350 psd 4X4 and the other has a '99 Dodge 2500 Cummins. Both trucks were stock everything, except the Dodge did have 265/75/16 Mud King XT's (BTW the Dodge has already been through one transmission). They both complain about getting bogged down in the ruts getting to their fields. My buddy with the '96 F-350 psd traded for a '00 F-350 with the V-10. He likes the gasser much better for getting around in the mud. My other buddy with the Dodge is also looking at an F-250 with the V-10 or the 2500HD with the 8.1. He also said he will not have another diesel for the same reason. I suppose if you took a psd out for a test drive in the mud, the dealer might not be too happy, but I'm not sure what he could do! Good Luck!
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    and a diesel weighs quite a bit more in the front end. I doubt anything with 6" lift and 37" tires is going to ride nice. I really don't see the NEED for the lift for just line/fire roads. If you want to lift it for looks, then that's your call. I've kept most of my trucks stock and carefully managed my way through 2' ruts and some pretty deep mud. I use my vehicles both on and off-road and the handling/ride loss due to a lift just isn't warranted unless you're serious trail-riding often.

    Also, buying an automatic on heavy-duty truck is fine as long as you go into figuring it will need repairs. I know quite a few people that have replaced trannies under 50K in both Fords and Dodges. I'm at 75K on mine which has exceeded my expectations, but I went into figuring on early repairs. Dodge had a new automatic coming out in the fall, assume Ford will as well on the next design. Allison seems to be pretty good if you like the GM, but still to early to say for sure.
  • jdtopperjdtopper Member Posts: 58
    can be unforgivable during deer season. Rain and/or melting snow produces a really nasty, sticky mess that clogs your tread pattern in about three turns of the tire, even if you're using wide-open mud tires. I've had that mud build up so thick in the fenderwells of a trailer that it stopped the wheels from turning, and eventually ripped the fenderwells off. The only thing that works in that stuff is a set of chains, and even that can get dicey on downhills. If there is anyone else on the board that has been there, I'm sure they will agree with me.

    I didn't have any problems with the font end weight. I found that it helped keep the front end planted where I wanted it to stay. The back end was a different matter. It's light, compared to the front, and it has a tendency to slide down into ruts pretty easily. It can get a bit un-nerving if you have to crab down a slimy hill for a half mile with your front end up on top and your [non-permissible content removed] end perpetually slipping sideways toward the edge.

    The ride is fine, as long as you remember that it's a heavy duty truck, and not some wimpy SUV. My Utah hunt trips are about 12 hours, one way, and I routinely make them with just a pit stop for food/fuel.

    There are bound to be better rigs for off-roading, but I don't think I would change anything on mine - unless I could find some way to get the chains to put themselves on and off when I need them.
  • wpalkowskiwpalkowski Member Posts: 493
    Auto Tire Chains, how about these?

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    >If there is anyone else on the board that has been there, I'm sure they will agree with me.<

    It's in the soil! Utah mud is the worst imaginable, more slippery than ANYTHING I've been on. As Topper says, it clogs up in seconds. Get out, and walk around to clear your fenders, it sticks to your boots like you're wearing brick (2) layers. Lift your knees into your chest to walk around. Horrible stuff. When dry, the soil is so fine and light.
  • jcave1jcave1 Member Posts: 137
    Hey Quad,

    No doubt. You need to try the Oregon red clay. Nasty, nasty stuff, particularly when it's been the usual, wet.
  • jcave1jcave1 Member Posts: 137
    How do you handle the turbo when you're off road? This can be a problem when it comes up. Just wondering if you can actually accomodate for the spool up.


  • jdtopperjdtopper Member Posts: 58
    I checked out the site, but it would only let me download and view the commercial. I couldn't get to any of the other areas on their site.

    They DO look interesting, but I wondered how they would work in demanding conditions, so I called the manufacturer and talked to "Colin" who explained how they work. In fact, they would probably work great for hard-pack snow or ice, and even on relatively smooth dirt/mud roads but wouldn't work for beans if you're in deep mud, or frozen ruts (or soft deep ones for that matter) or if there is much in the way of debris or large rocks on the road that might whack your chain spinner, or if you're just crawling along, or if you're already stuck. (Whew...lots of or's in there...time to breathe now...)

    He also explained that they only mount on the rear and that they cost $1800 per pair, plus shipping and installation. Thanks anyway, but no, thank you...!

    Jerry, I don't have much of a problem with turbo lag offroad. I'm virtually always in a lower gear if I'm in a rough spot on a fire road or jeep trail and I typically am operating at no more than 1500-2000 rpm on the motor unless it's a steep uphill. Plus, I have an automatic, so it's pretty easy to do the left-foot-brake/right-foot-gas thing when I have to. And there's always 4-Lo on the T-case if it comes to that. On downhills, I use a lot of low gear and/or 4-Lo engine braking, especially when I'm chained up for that Utah mud.

    For everything else, I just drive normally.

    As long as the terrain isn't too tight my 350 PSD Auto is actually easier to handle off road than my CJ-5 4-spd manual. It's just not quite as much fun to bang around in. This thing is something like 23' long, I think. Like I said earlier, it'll never be a rock-hopper but it serves my purposes well on those hunting/fishing expeditions in the mountains...
  • jcave1jcave1 Member Posts: 137
    I too have an auto. Not had an opportunity to take it out playing yet, my play ground is Mt Hood. Cannot wait to give it a try.
  • tonyytonyy Member Posts: 26
    I live in Utah and it ain't just the mud; you can be in nasty deep rutted snot mud trails with a few giant rocks thrown in to snow over the bumper in less than an hour. Heavy duty chains on all four is a must in some of the county I like to hunt. The only thing that has brought my Toyota to a stop so far is deep snow. I hope my new 1500 HD (just turned 500 miles)will get me to my favorite spots and someday shows 250,000 miles on the odometer like the Toyota. I doubt it will but at least I should be able expose my wife and kids to some of the most remote and spectacular scenery in this country, that is if I go ahead with my current plans to lift the chevy. I am a little reluctant make that kind of modification to a so far perfectly good truck but at almost 20' long I would certainly high center on some trails with out it. I will probably chain the front axle against the manufacture's warnings as well. But what the hell, life is short.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    I'm sure GM will try to skinny out of any problems anyway once you lift it so it probably doesn't matter. Those lifts are hard on fuel pumps, LOL!
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